A Rude Awakening

Well for a bit over a month now I’ve been back to regular full time employment as a teacher, which is great.  I’ve got a tough commute and for the first couple of weeks it was getting the better of me, but I’m adapting.  My riding has indeed suffered, my weekly mileage is down by about half, which all things considered I’m happy with, but I’m doing most of that riding on the weekend and doing very little during the week, which can’t be good.


I had a couple of rude awakenings this weekend that warrant mentioning.  On Saturday while on my way to meet up for a ride I made a mistake that could have ended very badly.  A large vehicle came around me at an intersection blocking my line of sight.  I was quite certain the intersection was clear and proceeded.  As you can probably guess there was a car coming and had I been going slower or that car going faster I would have been hit.  It was probably one of the closest calls I’ve had on a bike and will be on my mind from now on.


The second rude awakening was at The Great Pumpkin Metric.  The Great Pumpkin Metric is usually one of my favorite rides of the year, even though I haven’t been there in a few years.  There’s always a big turnout with a diverse mix of riders.  The quality of the route, and sag support is excellent.  The awesome meal and band playing at the end of the ride is just icing on the cake.  It’s one of the best organized rides in the area.

Since I’ve started my new job with its included 2 hour daily commute my riding time has all but disappeared.  I’ve gone from 120 miles a week to 60.  Last weekend at the Pumpkin it showed.  Luke was kind enough to dial it back on the climbs and wait for me, and on the flats I rarely if ever got out of his draft.


Around 25 miles in we ran into the BIG LOOP cyclists from Carmi, I’ve heard alot about these guys but this was my first time riding with them.  The pace was a solid 20-22 mph which in a group of 6 riders should have been cake, but left me gasping at times.  I was off the back on every climb and when I tried to put down more power I had the early warning signs of cramps.  I was saved from blowing up by a front flat requiring a quick tube change.  Fortunately Luke came back to give a me a pull in.

Now despite feeling pretty horrible and being under the impression that I was pathetic during the entire ride, I still managed to average 18.1 on the somewhat hilly ride, and that includes me and Luke taking it easy on the last 15 miles.  Still, I better get out the trainer.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, lifestyle, Rides, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Rude Awakening

  1. D D E says:

    Matt keep the articles coming. I find them interesting and have developed a greater appreciation of your passion for cycling. For your commute, there are some good podcasts available, such as This American Life. It has a variety of interesting topics; maybe even one on cycling.

  2. jc wise says:

    beef and dairy podcast. it’s not what you think it is. it’s british humor. ’nuff said.

  3. Matt Gholson says:

    will check it out, thanks

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